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The War of 1812
The Beginning of Our National Anthem



The Beginning of Our National Anthem
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.03

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    gunfire, successful, prisoner, invaders, wealthy, moat, religion, anthem, verses, artillery, defense, national, defend, attack, adult, public
     content words:    Francis Scott Key, Fort McHenry, Baltimore Harbor, Star Spangled Banner, Star Spangled Banner Flag, United States


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The Beginning of Our National Anthem
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     We have all heard the national anthem played and sung. But do you know when or why it was written? Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem almost 200 years ago during the War of 1812.
 
2     Key was born in 1779 to a wealthy family. As an adult he studied law and opened up his own law practice. At one time, he thought about giving up his job to go into religion. He believed a lot in religion and faith.
 
3     He was not for the War of 1812. But he loved the country that he lived in. He served for a brief time in a field artillery in 1813.
 
4     During the war, the British took prisoner a good friend of Key's. Key was asked to help this friend win his freedom. Key knew where the British were and went to Baltimore. There he met with a colonel who took care of prisoner exchanges.
 
5     They rode out on a small boat to the British ships. The British men were nice to them. They said that they would let Key's friend go. But they couldn't leave the ship yet. The British were going to attack Fort McHenry. They didn't want to let the men go until after they were done.

Paragraphs 6 to 13:
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